Google Gives Developers An Early Look at Android O
Google today announced the first preview of Android O, the unnamed next version of its core mobile operating system. This early version of Android O brings with it a handful of new features that clearly target developers and device makers more so than end users. The primary consumer-facing function is a picture-in-picture viewer for Android phones (this feature is already available to Android tablets). Developers will be able to take advantage of a new background limiter, which can control how much power apps are allowed to consume when running in the background. Android O takes a new stab a notifications with what it calls notification channels. These will let users manage which types of notifications are allowed from individual apps, including new visual groupings that make it easier to see what's going on. The new Autofill API will let developers of apps such as password managers choose autofill defaults across keyboards. Adaptive icons for the home screen will automatically change based on system preferences so they can adapt to different phones and user interfaces. Android O adds new support for Bluetooth audio codecs, such as Sony's LDAC codec. Other features include: in-app pinning of shortcuts and widgets; support for Wi-Fi Aware; XML fonts; wide-gamut color apps; new WebView APIs; expanded accessibility options; improved support for multiple displays; and changes to the MediaPlayer, including new support for the MPEG2_TS codec for media streaming. Developers can install this first Android O preview on their Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Pixel C, and Nexus Player, but will have to do so manually via their computer. Google says Android O will see at least one more developer preview before the company releases a consumer beta of the operating system. Google didn't suggest when the final version of Android O might be ready, but it typically releases new Android operating systems in the fall.
Android N Preview Adds Multi-Window to Core Platform
Mar 9, 2016
Google today released a very early developer preview of Android N. Google hopes giving early access to the base code will help developers provide feedback so Google can push Android N to phone makers by the summer months.
Google Releases First Preview of Android P with Improved Notifications and Notch Support
Mar 7, 2018
Google today made the first preview of Android P available to developers. The revised version of Android adds a number of user-facing features as well as tools for app writers.
Google Releases Final Developer Preview of Android 7 Nougat
Jul 18, 2016
Google today made the fifth and final preview of Android 7 Nougat available to app developers and beta testers. Google says devices that are enrolled in the beta program should be able to update to the newest preview right away.
Target Adds Mobile Payment Feature to its App
Dec 4, 2017
Target today made it possible for people to make in-store payments with their smartphones through the Target mobile app. Similar to Walmart’s offering, shoppers can link their debit cart to the new Wallet function within the Target app.
Google Drops Android O Release Candidate
Jul 24, 2017
Google today made Android O Developer Preview 4 available to application developers and said this is the final preview before Google releases Android O to consumers later this year. This build contains the final user interface system behaviors, the latest bug fixes and optimizations, and the final set of APIs.